So many organisations strive for highly engaged teams and invest massive amounts of money and time in measuring and managing it. However, it is common to find teams with excellent engagement scores yet major performance issues. This goes against the core premise that engagement surveys are built upon. So why do we see this happening?
It was great to have Lewis Garrad in town, Partner and Managing Director of Sirota in Asia Pacific to explain more. At a seminar we ran, he shared some fascinating engagement data and shared some reasons why the relationship between engagement and performance is not as simple as some may think. Often it can be explained by;
- A misalignment of performance expectations – employees’ definition of good performance being different to the organisations
- Unwillingness to provide candid feedback to their manager
- Feeling that raising the red flag is not worth the hassle – employees don’t believe that any change will actually happen on the back of the survey
At our seminar in Hong Kong, Lewis spoke more about the Engaging Leader assessment tool which is the result of a partnership between Hogan, a leading personality profiling provider and Sirota, who specialise in providing business insight from employee surveys and feedback.
The Engaging Leader tool addresses the issue that organisational performance is not just a direct outcome of employee engagement. Leadership also plays a critical role in driving performance therefore the two should be considered in parallel when managing engagement. This sounds obvious, but often they are not! Consider iconic leaders such as Steve Jobs who certainly led Apple on to achieved astounding performance but was also known to be notoriously difficult to work for, causing fractured relationships at work.
The Engaging Leader report enables deep insight into who the leader is, how they behave and how they affect their team. It evaluates a leader against four main components of leadership; ‘Clear Goals and Vision’, ‘Performance Enablement’, ‘Positive Team Climate’ and ‘Agile/Open Culture’. In each area, it looks at the leaders personality traits that could help or de-rail their performance and then combines this with team member feedback on relevant behaviours.
At Austen Advisory, we use this report as a development initiative with leaders to form an objective platform to uncover and discuss issues affecting team effectiveness. For example, this could be used on the back of an engagement survey to address underperformance in a specific team.